Only five points separated the top three teams in the Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll, and our final tabulation was even tighter. Just three points separated the team atop IHO contributors’ preseason poll.
Yale gets the slight nod here, with our contributors trusting James Jones to lead the Bulldogs to their fifth Ivy League title in an eight-season span in a bid to represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament for a third straight time. Penn, the Ivy League preseason poll’s top team above Princeton by a single point, also finished a single point above Princeton in our standings. Our contributors saw potential for success in a roster that returns most of the key players from last year’s squad that placed third in the Ivy standings. We’ve got Princeton pegged to finish third, aided in their quest to repeat as Ivy League champions by returning 2021-22 Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan but losing significant backcourt production from last year’s conference title team.
Harvard was the clear No. 4 finisher in our poll, a showing that would improve upon the disappointing sixth-place result that locked the Crimson out of the Ivy League Tournament on its home floor last season. We have Cornell ranked slightly ahead of Brown as the Big Red look to build on last season’s overachieving Ivy League Tournament berth and the Bears look to bounce back from an underachieving sixth-place finish (tied with Harvard) a season ago. Columbia and Dartmouth tied in our voting tally at the bottom of the standings as both programs look to secure their first Ivy League Tournament appearances.
It’s still Princeton’s conference until another Ivy proves that it isn’t. Our contributors are united in believing that the Tigers will stay on top in 2022-23, with Megan Griffith’s ascendant Columbia program again placing second.
But there wasn’t consensus on how the rest of the top half of the league will fill out.
Penn could break back into the Ivy League Tournament after missing it for the first time last season, but we expect the Red & Blue to draw stiff competition from Harvard and Yale in their first years under new coaches.
Will #2bidivy happen in the league for only the second time in conference history? It very well could, and the bottom half of the conference is likely to be substantially stronger this season as Brown and Dartmouth return more experienced rosters under coaches that now have a year of Ivy play under their belts.
Brown women’s coach Monique LeBlanc joins Ivy Hoops Online writer and host Steve Silverman to reflect on her journey from Prudential Financial into coaching, getting her top six scorers back from last season and expectations for 2021-22 rookie standout Isabella Mauricio, a large incoming first-year class, what a successful 2022-23 campaign would be for her program and more:
in case you missed it, check out Steve’s interviews with Cornell men’s coach Brian Earl here, Cornell women’s coach Dayna Smith here, Brown men’s coach Mike Martin here and Dartmouth women’s coach Adrienne Shibles here.
Brown men’s coach Mike Martin joins Ivy Hoops Online contributor Steve Silverman and reflects on his being on track to become the all-time winningest coach in program history and his team’s disappointing results in close Ivy games last season (2-5 in games decided by four or fewer points). Martin also details his hopes for more late-game “unpredictability” on offense this season, considers the future of Ivy back-to-backs, explains why he favors expanding the Ivy League Tournament to include all eight schools and much more:
in case you missed it, check out Steve’s interview with Cornell men’s coach Brian Earl here and Cornell women’s coach Dayna Smith here.
On an emotionally charged Senior Night, Yale took care of business and defeated Brown in a Saturday night showdown, 74-65, at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Four Yale seniors, Azar Swain, captain Jalen Gabbidon, Eze Dike and Jameel Alausa, played their last home games for the Bulldogs. Dike started after not playing this calendar year due to injury.
“I thought we played a better brand of Yale basketball,” coach James Jones said in comparing the performance to the efforts against Dartmouth and Cornell on the road last week. Jones captured his 350th career win. It was also his 191st Ivy League win, moving him ahead of former Penn coach Fran Dunphy into second place all-time in league history behind only Pete Carril.
Even before the last-minute dramatics that resulted in a stunning road 88-87 win for the Red & Blue, everything about Saturday night’s game between Penn (12-13, 9-3 Ivy) and Brown (12-15, 4-8) was set up to made it a classic Ivy League showdown.
Senior Mia Lakstigala is a dependable, versatile Penn player — a 6-footer who collects rebounds but also handles the ball and sinks threes. And she did it all well Saturday night for a career-high 21 points plus seven rebounds as the Quakers beat Brown, 67-53, in her second-to-last game at the Palestra.